I’m on a girls trip in Florida this weekend and we’ve had some fun nights of “deep” questions to each other. One of the questions asked was “Do you care about what other people think of you?” I thought this was such a good question. My first inclination was to shout “NO WAY!” but that would be a bold face lie. How you answer this will most likely reflect your age. I believe the older you get, the less you care about what people think of you.
To me, it’s one of the biggest lessons we can learn from those more experienced than us. Everyone wants to have friends and be liked but there is a difference between seeking those friends out by trying to please them and drawing people towards you because you are authentic and yourself.
I think sometimes people mistake caring about what people think about you for caring about yourself. There’s a big difference. One interesting thing I’ve read recently said that caring what people think about you actually shows a lack of self-love. You get your approbation from other people. And what’s wrong with that is that other people see life and things through their own filter and that may not be right. Let’s just be so bold as to say, it won’t be right. Instead of caring what others think, think more about yourself.
I’m no expert on the subject but I have been a perpetual people pleaser in the past. So in that regard, I can speak with authority on how completely imprisoning it can be to care about what people think about you. Thankfully, with age (and wisdom) I’m shifting my thinking.
And I don’t care what you think about that – ha!
Wayne Dyer said this on the subject: An important teacher of mine, Abraham Maslow, always counseled that it was necessary for the self-actualized individual to be “independent of the good opinion of others.” Listen to the voice you hear, and the drumbeat only you can feel, and honor it, while honoring it in those you love as well. It is the ultimate act of unconditional love. In being true to your inner calling, you may ruffle some feathers but you’ll have the peace and satisfaction of knowing that you fulfilled your divine purpose and encouraged others to do the same. Another brilliant nonconformist, Dr. Seuss, is credited with saying, “Be what you are and say what you feel because those who will mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
So – do you care what others think of you? Do you let it run your choices or do you make choices FOR YOUR BENEFIT?